Letters to the Editor

Selling foods from the Dirty Dozen

Please, please consider a policy where PCC will not sell any fruit that’s listed in this year’s Dirty Dozen (see article here), to protect our kids who are having a free piece of fruit during their visit.

I saw beautiful grapes near the produce door at Edmonds PCC, and there was no sign saying “non-organic”.  Organic grapes were around the corner, and clearly marked organic, but I felt concern that kids would sample these non-organic grapes from the southern hemisphere (instead).

I’ve heard before that PCC must compete with other stores in their offerings, but I think it should be a point of pride that our coop takes a stand against toxic residue in food offered for sale.

Erde Sun
PCC member since the ‘70s

PCC replies: Thank you very much for writing, for your long membership and for your thoughts on organic produce. We appreciate your recommendations regarding organic foods and added signage and will send them to the staff members who work on those issues.

Generally speaking, organic produce is a top priority for the co-op and we agree it is the most desirable choice for shoppers. We pride ourselves on a produce selection that is 95% organic. That said, organics are often more expensive than conventional versions of the same foods, and we want to provide some options for shoppers who aren’t able to make that choice. Additionally, there are times when only conventional supplies of a particular fruit or vegetable are available from our suppliers, and in those cases, shoppers have told us they would rather have the option of conventional produce than have us not carry that item at all. The Environmental Working Group, which publishes the Dirty Dozen report, does stress that it’s better to eat conventional fruits and vegetables than none, but provides the annual list to help shoppers make informed choices.

The free fruit options for children absolutely extend to organic fruits.

Thank you again for the valuable feedback.


Sound Consumer goes online-only

We will miss the paper newsletter. We looked forward to it each time it came out.

It is how we kept in touch with our Co-op and learned about the larger work of food and agriculture, of which we are both veterans.

You will doubtless receive many messages such as this, but just to let you know the paper was excellent and we will give the online edition a try.

Members since the Ravenna Store!

— Daulot Fountain
Stota Morke Fountain

PCC replies: Thank you so very much for reading and for your kind message! We are very glad you will give the online edition a try – we will have the exact same editorial mission and hope you will appreciate it just as much.

Letters like this really do make our day and keep us inspired.


Non-alcoholic beverages

Hello, PCC,

(The Sound Consumer article, “Holiday spirit sans spirits”)  has a few confusing statements about non-alcoholic cocktails, wines and beers.  First, it’s my understanding that the legal ABV for non-alcoholic beers is 0.5%, not the 0.05% given in the article. The actual percentage is ten times greater.  Then there is the sub-heading, “Uncork a spectacular new world of alcohol-free spirits, beer and wine.”

The author does mention that “non-alcoholic” beer does not mean zero alcohol, but she might also clarify that people who must, or wish to, avoid all alcohol should look for labels saying, “alcohol-free.”  The article’s title and sub-heading, mixing the two, suggest that this is important.

Many bars and restaurants are ignorant of this difference, and servers and customers often believe “non-alcohol” means alcohol free.  I’ve even seen other recent magazine articles which showed no awareness of the two categories and their difference.  To you or me 0.5% may not seem much; to someone who must avoid alcohol, it is too much.

As most consumers would reasonably assume “non-alcoholic” beverages would actually have no alcohol, it’s important to clarify the difference in an article like this. This is still new territory for most people, and the clarification would be helpful.

Thank you,
Susan Ward

PCC replies: Thanks so much for reading and for your feedback. We did indeed have the decimal in the wrong place in the original article, and so appreciate you flagging it. It’s corrected now online with a note about the change.

The email we sent to members did use “alcohol-free” as a general term, while “non-alcoholic” (which we used in the actual article) would have been a better way to cover the spectrum of options — and I agree that not everyone will understand on sight that they’re not the same. I’m sure this isn’t our last word on the topic in Sound Consumer, and we’ll be more sensitive to those points in the future.


Thank you, Fremont staff!

I need to give a shout out to 2 PCC staff members at Fremont who went out of their way to help me today.

First, the produce stocker who asked what I was looking for and checked for basil when it was out of stock. I had forgotten about it when I went over to the deli for self-serve dark roast coffee. A nearby deli worker immediately responded to my request and brewed a fresh pot. This took only a few minutes.

While I was waiting, the produce worker tracked me down and said more basil had just arrived. By the time I had my coffee and walked back to the herb section he was ready with fresh basil for me!

I don’t take good service for granted. The staff at PCC really deserve praise and recognition!

— Sally Gianelli
PCC Member

PCC replies: Thank you for writing and for recognizing the PCC store staff! We all appreciate hearing comments like these.

Also in this issue

Spicing up Seattle homes with the flavors of Karachi Kitchen

Through spice blends, a cookbook and cooking classes, Kausar Ahmed brought the flavors of her home in Pakistan to Seattle kitchens.

An Organic Research Renaissance: Cascadian Farm's New Chapter

The famous Cascadian Farm property is entering a new life as the Rodale Institute Pacific Northwest Organic Center, a research center for organic farming.

Sensory-Friendly Sundays: PCC's Quiet Shopping Hour

A weekly sensory-friendly shopping hour at PCC is meant to support neurodiverse community members.